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Justice Sonia Sotomayor


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Sonia Sotomayor is an American judge currently serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Appointed by President Barack Obama in May 2009 and validated in August 2009, Sotomayor is the first justice of Hispanic ancestry as well as the first Latina to hold such office. The daughter of Puerto Rican-born parents, she was raised by her mother after the untimely death of her father. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School and subsequently started her career as an assistant district attorney in New York before entering private practice in 1984. In 1991, President George W. Bush elected her to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was confirmed a year later. Her work in this position prompted President Bill Clinton to nominate her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1997. Despite the initial delay because of the Republican majority in the United States Senate, she was confirmed to the position in 1998. In 2009, following her nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama, she received confirmation by a vote of 68-31. Throughout her career, Sotomayor has distinguished herself for her work on issues of race, gender and ethnic identity, which she continues to do during her tenure in the Supreme Court.